I haven’t posted in QUITE a long time . . . I feel bad about that. Not just the lack of posts. Also the fact that the reason I haven’t posted is because the lessons I’m learning . . . the things my brain is focusing on . . . the positive changes I’m trying to make (there are so many ways to describe this “place” in my life!) are not changing or varying all that much so I fear that multiple blog posts would just sound the same!
But there are thoughts spinning in my head that won’t stop until I get them out in some organized fashion. So a new blog post it is.
I’m a people pleaser from “way back in the day”. I’m pretty sure I know why but don’t want to belabor things from my past that I have, to be brutally honest, gotten over completely. Unfortunately, as a people pleaser, I take it hard when someone disapproves of me or something I’ve done. There could be a dozen people that are THRILLED with my work or who approve of me in general. But I will focus all my time and energy on that one who doesn’t.
Kind of a silly way to approach life, don’t you think?! I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of this year to actively look for the good in people and situations. Some days it’s been REALLY easy. Other days, not so much. With most people, it doesn’t take much effort. Others?! Well . . . yeah. It’s tough to “un-learn” being a people pleaser!
There are actually two people right now that are . . . how would my husband put it? . . . providing a chance to grow in this area. Thankfully, my connection with them is NOT in the same part of my life so they are not able to double team me! One of them is trying (and appears to be succeeding) to put up walls between me and a volunteer position I’ve had the last couple of years. The other has asked for my help in a specific way and denigrates or just completely refuses to acknowledge my work and the progress that has been made. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at all. It stings. But only a little. Less than it would have in the past, thankfully.
Here’s the thing – in both of those arenas in my life, they are just one person with an opinion that others do not appear to share. In both cases, there are more than a few others – maybe even MANY others – that make me feel like a valued contributor. These contrary individuals are frustrating to deal with when I absolutely have to. But their attitude toward me and their opinion of me has – by their choice – kept those encounters at a minimum. Instead, the majority of my time has been spent around those who validate my work, encourage and build me up, allow me to feel like a valued contributor and make it a joy to be involved.
What’s the take away? I will NOT focus on “the one” who isn’t satisfied with what I’m doing. I will not give “the one” any power to affect my attitude toward the others I work with, the situation I’m in, or my level of enthusiasm. That one person can be as negative and cranky as they wish. I am surrounded by positive people who strive for excellence and welcome whatever contribution I am able to make as they work toward their goals. The secret is simple – focus on the others, not the one. If I don’t give that one person my focus or allow them to take up space in my thoughts, I will feel much more positively about the work I am doing, the part I am playing in creating something wonderful, and the relationships I am having a chance to build.
I will never be able to please every single person I encounter. Well, I could probably get close but I would lose myself in the process and I’m not okay with that. So I choose to focus on those who are happy to work along side me and welcome my presence in their lives. As for those who feel more negatively inclined toward me? I have just one thing to say – I wish you well.